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I got triggered. It actually happened twice.

The first trigger was about a year ago when I heard about some thought leaders training chatbots to answer questions for them. This trigger drove me to create my community, More Creative Academy.

My trigger thought was, “I’m going to do the opposite. If people want chatbot responses, that’s fine, but they won’t get it from me. The people I want to work with are the ones who want a human response with human experience and human intuition… and not just any human response, but a human response from me.” That thought is at the heart of how I run my community.

The second trigger happened a few months ago when I saw an Instagram Reel teaching people how to make 30 days of carousel content in five minutes using a combination of ChatGPT, a spreadsheet, and a “batch create feature” in Canva. The post had over one million likes.

My trigger thought was, “Holy freak, this kind of thing is just perpetuating an already crowded social media platform with more noise than ever. I’m going to do the opposite. If the platforms are full of AI-generated noise, I’m going to lean into more human-driven content, more dialogue, more collaborations, more conversations, and more stories.” That thought led me to create my two recent podcasts, “Two Pixels Off” with Brad Hussey and “What the Helvetica?” with a variety of amazing guests.

Doomscrolling and AI

The world is changing, partly because of AI empowering people to mass-produce drivel, but also because the social media platforms are training us to doomscroll. Unfortunately, to get traffic to your content, you have to participate in the creation of doomscroll-worthy drivel.

It’s gotten pretty ugly out there too. About a month ago, I saw an Instagram post from a 50-something-year-old accountant dancing around his office while he pointed at augmented reality tax tips on the screen. What the freak are we doing here, people?

What Comes Next?

I believe marketers are going to get tired of the trend-chasing, trade-their-soul-for-clicks game we are all getting sucked into. I believe this so much that I’m going all-in on long-form video and audio content… podcasts. Sure, I’ll still make other types of content, but my tent pole content will be long-form video and audio.

Did you know there are 3,600 seconds in 60 minutes?
The average watch time of an Instagram Reel is about +/- 20 seconds.
You’ll have to create 180 Instagram Reels to get the same amount of “watch time” as a 60-minute video.
And you’ll have to get someone to watch all 180 of those Reels to connect with your brand as much as they will in a 60-minute video. Not bloody likely.
I know it isn’t for everyone, but this snippet of data is at the root of my decision to shift into long-form, human-centric content, i.e., “Two Pixels Off” and “What the Helvetica?”.

What You Should Do

Like I said, I know this approach isn’t for everyone, but it is for me. However, what IS FOR EVERYONE is bringing more humanity into your marketing. AI, templates, chatbots, and spam bombs are making it more important than ever for your brand and marketing to highlight YOU, the human behind the business.

Start with a profile pic. No more hiding your face.
Maybe move on from there to write an article about an experience you had running your business or working with a client.
Graduate to posting a video that will share some value with your target customer. Start with just one. You can do this!
Build your courage and begin sharing stories and insights from your real-life, human-lived journey on a regular basis.

This approach needs to be at the heart of your brand marketing moving forward. Otherwise, there is no difference between you and the AI that is trying to steal your clients and your job.

Michael Janda

I am Michael Janda, an executive level creative leader with more than 25 years of experience in both in-house creative departments and agencies working with some of the greatest brands in the world including Disney, Google, Fox, ABC and NBC. I create books, courses, workshops, lectures and other training materials to help creative entrepreneurs run successful businesses.